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COVID-19 crisis: help and advice for employers

April 22nd, 2020

Governments and other organisations are providing financial support and other initiatives to help businesses and their employees. Below are brief details and useful links to those sources of assistance.

First Super is here to offer help and advice during this difficult time to the employers who employ our members. You can book an appointment with your local Business Development Manager or Member and Employer Services Coordinator.

Please contact our Employer Services Team on 1300 943 171 or email employers@firstsuper.com.au for details.

The Government’s Economic Response to the Coronavirus

The Federal Government has announced a raft of measures to support households and businesses through the Coronavirus pandemic.

Temporary early access to super
The Federal Government is allowing eligible individuals financially impacted by coronavirus (COVID-19) to access up to $10,000 of their super before 1 July 2020 and a further $10,000 from 1 July 2020 until 24 September 2020.

JobKeeper payment

If your business has been significantly impacted by the coronavirus, you will be able to access a wages subsidy to continue paying your employees.

Under the JobKeeper program, you can claim a fortnightly payment of $1,500 per eligible employee from 30 March 2020. This assistance will help you keep staff and restart when the crisis is over.
Download fact sheet

Supporting apprentices and trainees

To support small businesses to retain their apprentices and trainees, eligible businesses can apply for a wage subsidy of 50 per cent of each apprentice’s or trainee’s wage paid during the nine months from 1 January 2020 to 30 September 2020.
Download fact sheet

Cashflow support for small and medium businesses

The Government is providing temporary cash flow support of up to $100,000 for eligible small and medium-sized businesses, and not-for-profits (NFPs) that employ staff to help with their cash flow so they can keep operating, pay their rent, electricity and other bills and retain staff.
Download fact sheet

More details of the financial assistance, eligibility and timing for the new government support for Australian businesses are available at:
Support for Businesses page
Coronavirus information and support for business page

COVID-19 and temporary visa holders

There are around 139,000 temporary skilled visa holders in Australia, on either a 2-year or 4-year visa.

Those visa holders who have been stood down, but not laid off, will maintain their visa validity and businesses will have the opportunity to extend their visa as per normal arrangements.  Businesses will also be able to reduce the hours of the visa holder without the person being in breach of their visa condition.

Temporary skilled visa holders will also be allowed to access up to $10,000 of their superannuation this financial year.

Working holiday makers in critical industries such as aged care, agriculture and childcare will be exempt from a six-month limitation with one employer.
Find information regarding temporary visa holders

The Australian Government’s business hotline will give more support to small and medium businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The business.gov.au contact centre – 13 28 46 – is open from 7.00am to 9.00pm ,7 days a week.